(Access the Competency Guide.)

Day 1

Artificial Intelligence Applications In Dietetics

Christopher Talley

Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) is mentioned on a daily basis, but it’s usually a catch-all for any database driven application. Even though AI has been researched for more than 60 years, very few practitioners have utilized true AI algorithms in their daily routine. That said, the nutritional analysis/counseling space is evolving extremely rapidly, and the use of AI will be “Standard of Practice” in the dietetics community within the next 5 years. This presentation will cover the basics of AI, how AI can extract valuable information from extremely complex data sets, how the practitioner can maintain creativity in a heavily analytical environment, and what steps can be taken to embrace the exciting evolutionary changes taking place in the nutritional field. Case studies will be presented to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of AI analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  • What areas will AI assist practitioners in the near future?
  • What impact will AI have on nutritional research?
  • Why does an individual's scientific knowledge work synergistically with AI?

Collagen Supplementation: From Lab to Field

Dana Lis, PhD, RD, CSSD

Abstract: From benchtop lab into the field with athletes this session will take you through the key pieces of physiology, exercise load/stimulus and practical components that a practitioner should understand as part of their toolbox when prescribing collagen supplementation to athletes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the dynamics of collagen within the musculoskeletal system.
  • Review the current state of research and application for the practitioner in sport.
  • Integrate nutrition into a program designed to improve collagen synthesis.

Success in Sports Nutrition: Expanding Services and Increasing Profit

Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD, LMNT

Abstract: As highly skilled practitioners, dietitians are often under-utilized in sports and fitness settings, limiting their businesses. All the while, fitness professionals and self-proclaimed nutrition experts capitalize on the public’s desire for valid nutrition information to improve fitness, sports performance, and health. Business development and effective communication of the benefits of exercise nutrition services require practice and resources. This session will address challenges dietitians face as they attempt to build a successful career in sports or fitness nutrition with effective communication strategies to land - and create - positions and contracts they desire. The benefits of collaboration with fitness professionals and non-traditional career options in sports nutrition will be presented. Speakers will also present the value in developing multiple revenue streams with real life examples from the speakers and other successful sports dietitians. Resources will include a sample email pitch, cost-free marketing recommendations, and tips for articulating the value of dietitians in sports and fitness settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify personal weaknesses in current strategies for obtaining work in the sports/fitness nutrition field or Identify pros and cons of your current or desired work in sports nutrition.
  • Determine areas for collaboration with other industry professionals that have the ability to advance career trajectory.
  • Develop a loose plan for creating a new career opportunity in the field and/or develop a new revenue stream for their business.

The Future of Fitness: The Microbiome & Next Generation Probiotics

Jonathan Scheiman, PhD

Abstract: Dr. Jonathan Scheiman will speak about insights from over five years of research on athlete microbiomes and opportunities for new modalities to optimize performance and nutrition. This will entail discussion on the trillions of microorganisms in and on our body that collectively influence various physiological aspects of our functionality, ranging from metabolism and strength to cognition and recovery. In particular, Jonathan will speak about his recent Nature Medicine publication regarding discovery of a next-gen probiotic, as well as how future exploration of elite athlete microbiomes can disrupt not only athletics but also health and wellness for the masses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how next-generation sequencing can identify novel probiotic species and strains
  • Identify how athletes’ have distinct microbial communities that are dynamic during performance and recovery phases
  • Determine the discovery and pre-clinical testing of a next-gen probiotic that naturally eats lactic acid to promote endurance and reduce inflammation

From the Battlefield to the Playing Field: Lessons in Performance Nutrition from Warfighters

Nick Barringer, PhD, RD, CSSD, CSCS

Abstract: This session will explore the performance nutrition lessons learned from the military and how they can be applied to both other tactical or sport athletes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the consequences of stress on physiology and nutritional status of athletes.
  • Know the stress and nutrition research from military populations.
  • Apply the lessons learned from military research to your specific athletic population.

Developing and Implementing Heat Polices and Hydration Protocols for Athletes

Robert A. Huggins, PhD, LAT, ATC

Abstract: While many organizations indicate that they have heat policies and hydration protocols in place, many lack the recommended evidence-based components of these heat and hydration policies and protocols. While many members of the sports medicine team (athletic trainers, sports dietitians, strength and conditioning coaches, and physicians) develop, adopt, and implement these policies and protocols with their athletes and teams, many organizations and individual athletes still struggle with avoiding heat illness and optimizing hydration status. Therefore, the purpose(s) of this presentation are to, 1) review the evidence-based medicine best practices policies for avoiding heat illness and optimizing fluid replacement 2) quantify heat stress limits and normal fluid and electrolyte needs 3) determine when an athlete’s current heat acclimatization status and fluid/electrolyte replacement plan is inadequate, and 4) determine when heat acclimation coupled with advanced fluid and electrolyte testing are required for optimizing performance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the components of a heat policy and comprehensive hydration protocol.
  • Measure and interpret the level of heat stress/acclimatization an athlete has and the amount of fluids an athlete needs.
  • Determine whether an athlete is heat acclimatized and has normal or abnormal fluid and electrolyte needs.
  • Produce an intervention plan for an athlete who requires heat acclimatization and increased fluid and electrolyte needs.
  • Distinguish when traditional intervention plans are inadequate and evaluate the need for more advanced physiological athlete specific testing.

Day 2

Sports Analytics

Neil Johnson, MBA


With the advent of technology analytics have been a game changer in Sports. Using analytics has disrupted sports in numerous ways and that isn't slowing down anytime soon. Sports Analytics are more relevant than ever, and this session will explain what exactly Sports Analytics is, its history and look forward to explore how the world of sports nutrition will be impacted.

Learning Objectives:

  • History of Sports Analytics
  • Looking forward in Sports Analytics space
  • Convergence of nutrition and analytics in sports

From the Director’s Chair: Nutrition & Well-being Within Today's Mid-level DI Athletic Departments

Amanda Braun
Monica Lebron
Moderated by Jennifer Ketterly, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Abstract: How can sports and human performance RDs approach athletic directors about providing services to their athletes? What is important to the athletic directors? How do you develop a proposal and negotiate a contract for services? Join our panel of dynamic female administrators who will discuss the role of nutrition and well-being in today’s student athlete experience. Use this unique opportunity to engage with our administrators on how to approach opportunities and form working relationships with non-power 5 collegiate athletic departments.

Rapid Fire: Have We Revolutionized Sports Nutrition? What's Old, What's New

Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD

Rapid Fire: Stoke the Fire: Fueling Firefighters for Optimal Health and Performance

Brittany Johnson, PhD, RDN, CSSD, CPT

Abstract: Firefighters are first-responders requiring unique physical health to perform duties. Nutrition and diet are essential lifestyle components to maintain job functions and promote optimal health. Three primary concerns with firefighters related to diet include: cardiovascular disorders/obesity, injury, and sleep. The majority of firefighters do not feel they receive adequate nutrition information and are interested in learning about healthy eating. This session will highlight the energy demands required for active first responders and previous dietary interventions. In addition, the session will explain how dietary risk in career firefighters is correlated with body composition, injury, and sleep. Finally, the session will share innovative approaches for a Regional Wellness Initiative for San Diego first responders. By linking cardiovascular, injury and sleep with dietary patterns in firefighters, a strong case can be made to provide firefighters with nutrition education by qualified Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and understand the unique physical demands and nutrition needs for first responders and the RD’s role in helping them navigate dietary choices.
  • Describe the relationship between nutrition and special health concerns within the firefighting community that warrant nutrition interventions.
  • Discuss programming that firefighters can consider to help prepare them for performance and well-being.

Rapid Fire: Practical Considerations: Using DXA for Body Composition Analysis

Kasuen Mauldin PhD, RD

Abstract: This presentation will focus on the use of DXA for assessing body composition data including percent body fat, estimated visceral adipose tissue, and bone mineral density. Examples scans will be shown. Practical considerations such as logistics and limitations to using DXA will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the body composition information provided by a DXA scan
  • Understand the limitations of DXA when interpreting results
  • Discuss the practical considerations of using DXA

Rapid Fire: The New Age of Dietary Assessment: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities

Dina Aronson MS, RD

Abstract: Traditional dietary intake assessment methods—food frequency questionnaires, 24-hr recalls, and food logs—while valid and widely used in practice, have important limitations, both in the methodology and successful application of results. Nutrition professionals recognize the need for innovative approaches. Diet Quality Photo Navigation is a cutting-edge innovation to help RDs assess diet accurately, quickly, and conveniently. A simple tool backed by complex science, it utilizes pre-assembled dietary prototypes, compiled by RDs and based on defining attributes of each diet as well as specific, objective measures of diet quality. This evidence-based technique is undergoing validation with an IRB-approved research study. Dietary assessment is undergoing a paradigm shift: from nutrient quantity to diet pattern quality, and from cookie cutter approaches to personalized solutions. Tools such as the Healthy Eating Index, emerging energy balance theories, and mobile technology unite to assist modern dietitians in providing top-notch services to their clients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the pros and cons of and best practices for existing and newly proposed dietary assessment methodologies.
  • Analyze and compare current technology trends and digital options in nutrition assessment, client tracking, and behavior change.
  • Explain scientific validation requirements for measurement of diet quality and implications of health outcomes, disease risk, and health care costs.

International Collaboration to Elevate Performance Solutions

Dr. Trent Stellingwerff
Dr. James Morton
Moderated by Dana Lis, PhD, RD, CSSD, CPT

Abstract: This session will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn how two of the most impactful current performance nutritionists on separate continents have fabricated their career. The session will offer exposure to how performance nutrition “works” in other countries.

Learning Objectives:

  • Appreciate the changing landscape this field.
  • Gather take-aways that may guide practitioners to build more impactful practice.
  • Observe how these practitioners along with may others collaborate on small and large scale to elevate the field.

The Role of Omega: 3 Fatty Acids in Skeletal Muscle Anabolism

Chris McGlory, PhD

Abstract: Ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids exerts health benefits on a number of processes such as immune function, cognition, and the neuromuscular system. More recently, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acid intake can impart a positive impact on skeletal muscle. Indeed, there are reports of improved oxygen use during exercise in active persons with omega-3 fatty acid intake as well as evidence that omega-3 fatty acid ingestion alleviates the loss of muscle mass and prevents decrements in mitochondrial content during periods of immobilization in young women. The primary means by which omega-3 fatty acids alter positively impact skeletal muscle is via incorporation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) into membrane phospholipids. Enrichment of EPA and DHA in membrane phospholipids may enhance rates of muscle protein synthesis, decreased expression of factors that regulate muscle protein breakdown, and improve oxygen utilization in the mitochondria. However, exactly how incorporation of EPA and DHA into phospholipid membranes alters these processes remains unknown. In this presentation, I will discuss the interaction between omega-3 fatty acid ingestion and skeletal muscle protein turnover in response to nutrient provision. Additionally, I will discuss the role of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in protecting muscle loss during muscle-disuse and evaluate the molecular mechanisms that underpin the phenotypic changes observed in skeletal muscle with omega-3 fatty acid intake.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the factors regulating skeletal muscle protein turnover.
  • To critically evaluate current understanding regarding the role of omega-3 fatty acids in muscle growth.
  • To have a basic understanding of the molecular mechanisms mediating omega-3 fatty acid influence on skeletal muscle.

Dietary Supplements and Performance: Do We Have a Consensus?

Eric Rawson, PhD, FACSM, CSCS

Abstract: Recently, the International Olympic Committee assembled a panel of experts to review the use of dietary supplements by elite athletes. Comprehensive review articles were prepared and distributed to the panel before the meeting to encourage discussion. After several days of dialogue, the group concluded that dietary supplements are a legitimate part of an athlete’s preparation and can play a role in supporting health, training, and performance in competition. These conclusions were published in a consensus statement that summarized the evidence that supports dietary supplement use in elite athletes. The consensus statement is available as an open access manuscript in both the British Journal of Sports Medicine and the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Comprehensive review articles developed by the panel members are also available open access in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify dietary supplements that may improve athletic performance.
  • Identify issues related to dietary supplement safety in athletes.
  • Describe the hierarchy of evidence used to establish good practice for dietary supplements.

Voices of Recovery from Eating Disorders in Sport

Paula A. Quatromoni, DSc, MS, RDN, LDN
David Proctor, MSc
Andrea Watkins, MEd

Abstract: This talk will feature two elite runners, one male and one female, who experienced restrictive eating disorders during their collegiate track careers at a Division 1 university. Moderated by the nutritionist who treated them, the athletes will share their lived experiences of the disorder that affected their health, emotional well-being, and physical abilities to train, compete and recover from sports injuries. This presentation will be engaging for audience members by integrating the voices of the athlete and the nutritionist into one dynamic discussion that depicts gender differences in how eating disorders in sport, help-seeking, treatment and recovery are experienced. Rarely is this collaborative sharing accomplished in a professional training venue, and even more rare is the inclusion of the male athlete’s voice in the eating disorder conversation. Together, we will explore two eating disorder recovery journeys that each culminated in restored health, return to athletic competition, and national-level achievements.

Learning Objectives:

  • To describe risk factors for eating disorders in sport distinguishing between those that are universal and those that appear gender-specific.
  • To articulate gender differences in the lived experience and the recovery experience of eating disorders in sport.
  • To identify factors (including individuals and/or professionals) that assisted help-seeking, identification and treatment of eating disorders in sport and those that served as obstacles and/or contributed to the sustained nature of the disorder.

Day 3

Unique Aspects of the Female Athlete

Kate Ackerman, MD, MPH
Lisa Lewis, Ed.D., CADC-II, Licensed Psychologist
Adam Tenforde, MD

Cannabidiol (CBD) and the Athlete

Graeme Close

Abstract: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 140 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant which has been claimed to have beneficial effects on pain management, sleep and recovery. It is therefore of little surprise that there are a growing number of athletes turning to CBD for pain management and recovery purposes, however, the efficacy and safety of such practices still remains unknown. In a recent study, we reported that 26% of professional rugby players have either used or currently use CBD on a regular. This number increased to almost 40% in players >28 years of age with the major reasons cited for use including pain management and improved sleep. Despite CBD being removed from the WADA prohibited list in 2018, all other cannabinoids remain prohibited and given that small amounts of these cannabinoids are usually found in CBD products the use of CBD poses a serious risk to athletes. This presentation will examine the science behind the therapeutic claims on CBD, assess how much of a risk supplementation is to athletes and show some unpublished data from our labs on the efficacy of CBD in terms of muscle soreness and recovery. Finally, the presentation will highlight questions that need to be addressed prior to recommending its use in sport.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what is CBD, where does it come from and what are the suggested benefits
  2. Explore the prevalence of CBD use in athletes
  3. Understand the safety risks from both a health and anti-doping perspective associated with CBD

Iron and the Athlete: Key Considerations and Nutrition Strategies

Pete Peeling, PhD

Abstract: Iron is an essential trace mineral in the body, which is associated with numerous processes relevant to athletic performance (e.g. oxygen transport, energy production). Despite this, athlete populations commonly present with a high incidence of compromised iron stores, likely a result of the increased iron requirements resulting from numerous exercise-related mechanisms. Left untreated, a compromised iron status may negatively impact athletic performance, and therefore, strategies to maintain adequate iron stores are essential for athlete populations. This presentation will initially explain the underlying mechanisms that underpin iron deficiency in athletes, before discussing the current thinking on various nutritional strategies to correct this problem.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the importance of iron in an athlete's diet;
  • To understand the exercise-relevant mechanisms of iron deficiency in athletes; and
  • To understand the various strategies of addressing an iron deficiency in athletes.

Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in Performance and Recovery

Cathy Goldstein, MD, MS

Abstract: Sleep is essential for health and well-being. Given the demands of athletes, sleep that is sufficient in quality and duration is crucial for optimal performance and recovery. Here, we will discuss the scope and impact of poor sleep in athletes, the two-process physiological model that underlies sleep regulation, and how we can leverage our own biology to improve sleep.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the two process model that underlies sleep
  • List athlete specific consequences of disturbed sleep and circadian misalignment
  • Identify behavioral changes to improve sleep

Embedding Nutrition Professionals to Optimize Health and Performance of Military Personnel

Captain Carrissa Gail Thomas, MS, RDN, CNSC, Captain in the United States Air Force

Abstract: The Air Force has a long history of providing integrated support in the form of embedded flight surgeons and medical technicians, but the use of nutrition professionals on the teams is a much newer concept. This presentation will discuss the role of nutrition professionals on the Air Force’s new initiative, the base Operational Support Team. The intent of this new multidisciplinary team is to improve military mission success and enhance human weapon system performance by using data to provide targeted, time-limited preventative interventions for Air Force line units. This session will summarize the embedding process, data collected and successful interventions trialed across five different units, as well as highlight lessons learned as this program expands Air Force-wide.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the role that nutrition professionals play in optimizing mission and human performance.
  • Describe the process of embedding within Air Force line units as part of the Operational Support Team.
  • Explain strategies to achieve buy-in, nutrition interventions applied, and lessons learned in standing up a nutrition program for specific populations.